How to Enjoy Rosé: Food Pairings and Serving Tips

After enjoying full-bodied red wines during the cool weather months when they are naturally paired with hearty comfort foods, the arrival of summer and its hopefully warmer temperatures stirs us to transition to lighter fare and lighter wines.

After all, we dress seasonally and eat seasonally. Although it’s less talked about, we drink seasonally, too.

Refreshing and crisp white wines are definitely among my favourites to drink every summer but there is one style of wine that reminds me of summer vacations, hot days and the need for cool refreshment: rosé. In this article, we share how to drink rosé wine, including food pairings, serving temperatures and the best time to pop open that bottle.

What do rosé wines taste like?

A rosé wine is a white wine that wishes it could be a red; it’s also a red wine that wishes it could be white!

With the acidity and citrus notes (lemon, lime, grapefruit) of a white wine and the fruit aromas (strawberry, red currant) of a red, rosé has the potential to please palates of every type.

How is rosé wine made?

There are a few methods, but the most common is simply squeezing the juice from the grapes and giving that juice very brief contact with the skin – a few hours to one day, at most.

Red wines get their colour from the juice coming into contact with the grape skin – known as the must – for a considerable period of time, from several days up to several weeks. This gives your cabernet sauvignon plenty of dark colour that expands the taste and aromas during fermentation. Since rosé wines don’t go through a long period of exposure to the grape skins, the wine has just a hint of colour and is much more transparent. No matter your taste, we can all agree that a rosé looks visually amazing in the bottle or glass.

What about the colour?

You’ll find a lot of variance, from light orange or salmon to a light strawberry red. Does the colour influence the taste of the wine? Yes, it does!

The colour of the wine comes from the tannin, so the darker the rosé, the more tannic it will be. Tannin is a naturally occurring compound that is found in the skin, seeds and stems of grapes. Tannin is complex, astringent and bitter, helping grapes remain uneaten by birds and insects until they mature in both taste and colour – processes that cleverly coincide.

Remember that your rosé has been macerating with the skins for just a few hours, so the amount of tannin it contains is still very low. You might say that darker rosés appeal more to red wine drinkers while lighter rosés appeal to white wine drinkers. Since I enjoy drinking both, I like all rosés!

How to drink rosé wine

What foods pair with rosé?

Julia Child once said, “rosé can be served with anything”. With this advice gifted from the goddess of cooking, you may now eat any food with a rosé!

That said, I’m not sure that I would. My rosé pairing suggestions include, but are not limited to: a gooey Brie; a mushroom quiche; seafood lasagne; pulled pork or barbecue ribs; grilled vegetables, prawns, pork chops or sausage; ratatouille; a blue cheese burger with the works; lemon roasted chicken; summer salads like prawn and avocado salad; watermelon salad; tabbouleh; strawberry and spinach salad; or chowder. You could also serve rosé as an apéritif with a charcuterie platter.

I suggest pairing La Petite Source with grilled meats without sauces, grilled vegetables or fresh salads. We always recommend this wine with a non-vinegar based salad dressing, too. It’s an all-rounder, and perfect for family meals and barbecues as it suits most tastes. It’s delicate but delightful!

My second suggestion is the Miss Valentine, 2020. This is a stunning rosé, just the most perfect drink for summer. It is fruity, it is elegant – but most of all it is delicious! It goes really well with pork (like Toulouse sausage), a shellfish dish or indeed an aromatic chicken dish. As you can tell by this pairing, some rosés can stand up to foods with strong flavour profiles.

When should I drink my rosé wine?

You should drink your rosé within a couple of years. The current release is 2020 but some rosés that have a fair amount of body can benefit from one more year in the bottle. A 2019 rosé can be very nice, but wines older than that will have lost their fruitiness and bright acidity, making them dull, alcoholic fruit juice. If someone gives you a 10-year-old bottle of rosé, you know what to do with it.

At what temperature should rosés be served?

Rosé is often served cold, like a refreshing white wine. However, as the wine warms up – or the ice in your ice bucket grows less cold – you will suddenly find in your glass intense aromas of red and orangey fruits. Don’t serve rosé “vodka cold” or you will completely miss that wonderful olfactory experience. 10-14 degrees Celsius is an appropriate temperature at which to serve rosé.

Our rosé wines are honestly crafted and high-quality. When sipped in spring and summer, they make for an incredibly pleasing experience.

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